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Towards a global epidemiological database for helminth infections

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Title: Towards a global epidemiological database for helminth infections
Author(s): Heino, Pia
Contributor: University of Helsinki, Faculty of Medicine, Haartman Institute
Discipline: Bacteriology and Immunology
Language: English
Acceptance year: 2009
Schistosomiasis and soil-transmitted helminthiasis (STH) are major public health problems in tropical and subtropical countries. In 2006, the World Health Organization launched a new strategy against helminth infections, based on the concept of preventive chemotherapy. Ac-cording to this recommendation, anthelminthic drugs should be distributed to all at risk of infection, with the aim of reducing morbidity and the intensity of infection. This report describes the process of constructing an epidemiological database, which attempts to incorporate all information available on the global prevalence of STH, schistosomiasis and other helminthiases. This database can be used as a tool for the implementation of preventive chemotherapy. The aim is also to gather information on the availability of epidemiological data on helminth infections. I found out that data on STH and schistosomiasis are lacking especially in Sub-Saharan Africa. Better data collection and communication between WHO and endemic countries should therefore be developed.
Keyword(s): Helminthiasis Schistosomiasis Epidemiology Prevalence

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